No summer internship? No problem!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Jean Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier
By Casey Edwards

If you’re like me then you’re not spending your summer at an internship learning and creating amazing things, and that might have bummed you out a little bit. But if you don't have an internship, it doesn't mean you're going to fall behind. Here are some ways to “stay on top of it” during the summer.

Stay mentally involved in your field
Watch TED Talks. Listen to podcasts. Read blogs regularly. If your Twitter feed isn’t leaders and people in your field, it should be. If you don’t have a Twitter, get one. Research what these people talk about. Work to understand as many aspects of your field and major and career path as possible. Learn what you can on your own and keep up with those that have the guidance of an internship.
Always be networking!
If you’re on Twitter, then you should be interacting with your followers and people you follow to build online relationships within your field. Talking to professors in your department and asking for tips on how to continue learning and growing is a great way to form connections with professionals in your field that you will definitely see come August. Plus, they might know some people who can get you an internship or job next time you look for one!
Learn a new skill in your free time
Knowing how to read data, understanding the basics of digital marketing and coding are all some of the most valuable skills you can bring to a job in 2016, according to Time. You should also work to improve and practice a foreign language, preferably Spanish or Chinese. If you’re not so great at writing, make a blog! If you’re not too familiar with social media as a professional tool, start using it as one. Whatever you do, it’s important that you hold yourself accountable to setting a goal and sticking to it.
Do as much as you can to make money

Whatever you do, if you’re working hard, then it’s valuable work. There’s nothing saying that the work you do at a summer retail job or at a fast food place isn’t applicable to your major or future career or journalism. A strong work ethic and ability to work with people is incredibly valuable in and out of the classroom. Plus, you’ll thank yourself for putting away some money for those upcoming rent payments…

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